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Canada needs more space for Indigenous people in academia – The Coast

by ahnationtalk on May 24, 201856 Views

If we lived in a world where all things were equal, then yes, white professors could teach Indigenous courses. However, we do not live in an equal world.

May 24, 2018

Last week, Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax came under fire for assigning a white professor a course about the residential school system that housed Indigenous children for forced assimilation. The university picked a knowledgeable and well-meaning ally. And I am not here to discredit her.

But I have long been a proponent of Indigenous peoples telling our stories. We’ve always served as background characters in our own history.

I am l’nu of the Mi’kmaq Nation of Mi’kma’ki. We have the dubious honour of being among the first Indigenous peoples contacted by European colonizers. For 500 years we had to work with, be oppressed by and share land with the British and French. The Peace and Friendship Treaties signed by my ancestors led to precedent-setting landmark decisions for Indigenous rights at the Supreme Court of Canada. However, that doesn’t mean we’ve avoided the pitfalls of colonization.

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